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Monday, July 11, 2011
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More Security Theater

Since Ally and I got back from our Honeymoon in Hawaii, I've been meaning to write about this particular incident on our trip. We flew out of Milwaukee, connected in Chicago, then to LAX and finally to Honolulu.  On our way out, we have no incidents, and even had a nice upgraded seat assignment from Chicago to LAX. In Milwaukee, we saw the new scanners were setup, but weren't being used and we just went through the old fashioned X-Ray machines.

During our return trip, we weren't so lucky. When we went through security in Honolulu, we went through the usual stupid process. Empty all your pockets of anything metal into a bin, take off your shoes and place those in a bin, etc. Unfortunately in Honolulu, they were using the new enhanced "naked scanners". This was actually the first time I had the displeasure of using one. I emptied my pockets, stepped into the machine, "assumed the position" and got scanned.

As I walked out, the TSA officer didn't let me get my things, and then said "did you empty your pockets?". To which I responded, yes. "Are you sure you emptied all your pockets?" I looked at him and said, "Yes, I put everthing in the basket except maybe a couple of receipts". The officer looked at me and shook his head. "You need to empty your pockets of everything!" I stared at him in a dumbfounded way. "Even two slips of paper?" He looked at me again. "Everything."

So I reached into my other pocket where I had stuck the receipts from the car rental and put them in his basket. The TSA official then asked me to extend my leg, and he patted down the part of my leg that had been obscured by the two receipts. I was then able to continue and get my things again. And that is when I leaned that a multimillion dollar scanner was foiled by two small scraps of paper, which didn't even have a staple in them.

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